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Miami Criminal Defense Blog

Hiring illegal immigrants is a violation of federal law

There are many people with strong feelings on both sides of the immigration issues facing this country. One thing, however, is certain: Employers are in a bad position if they've typically relied on undocumented workers without authorization to work here in the past and continue now to do so.

It's a violation of federal criminal laws for someone to:

  • Knowingly refer undocumented workers to employers for "kickbacks"
  • Knowingly recruit undocumented workers to work
  • Knowingly hire undocumented workers
  • Look the other way when an immigrant presents identifying information that is clearly forged, fraudulent or stolen

What can happen if you loan or borrow a medical card?

There's no question that the United States has a crisis when it comes to affordable access to medical care. The issue has even become a major talking point heading into the 2020 presidential election.

Desperate times sometimes lead to desperate measures. In this case, some of those desperate measures have included people borrowing a medical card from a friend or relative or lending their own to someone.

Health care fraud case underscores the importance of paperwork

The number of Americans enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan is skyrocketing. Statistics show enrollment has nearly doubled over the past 10 years, and Medicare Advantage now comprises about 22 million people. That’s one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries.

This rise in popularity has also invited more scrutiny. A number of health care companies engaged in the Medicare Advantage business have faced accusations of fraudulent billing. One ongoing case is a good reminder that the best defense against these accusations is thorough recordkeeping.

What does it mean to suppress evidence in a criminal case?

If you're the defendant in a criminal case, one of the most important questions your attorney may ask is not, "What did you do?" but "What can the prosecutor prove that you did?" In fact, a good part of your attorney's job may focus around suppressing evidence in your case.

So, what exactly does that mean? In plain terms, it means making sure that the jury never hears or sees that particular evidence in your case. That way, it cannot be used against you. This isn't something underhanded or "sneaky" on the part of a defense attorney -- it's actually a critical part of aggressively defending your rights under the law.

Another Florida city decriminalizes some drug charges

Thousands of people in Florida have been charged with possession of drugs, drug paraphernalia or drug distribution. These criminal charges can have far-reaching consequences on the liberty, family and career of suspects. This is one of the reasons that many people facing charges feel the need to defend themselves in court.

Some lesser charges are rapidly becoming summary offenses, saving courts valuable time and saving suspects a lot of trouble dealing with them. Palm Bay is now the second major city in the Sunshine State that has decriminalized low-level charges related to marijuana possession. The city council voted to establish new civil penalties for these charges.

Impeaching a witness

One of the worst parts about being a defendant in a white collar criminal case is that you learn -- really fast -- who you shouldn't have trusted. It isn't uncommon to feel angry, hurt and outright betrayed by the witnesses who seemingly come out of the proverbial woodwork to testify against you, especially when you feel like they're only doing so because they have a grudge against you or another personal reason to exaggerate -- or even lie.

This is where your defense attorney will work to impeach the witnesses against you. In essence, "impeaching" a witness is challenging their credibility in court and showing the judge or jury that the witness cannot be trusted for one reason or another.

Florida officer caught planting drugs on defendant

Right at this moment, there are defendants sitting in a Florida jail or sweating out the wait to their trial for a drug crime -- even though the prosecutor's office is aware that they're likely innocent.

An assistant state attorney noticed a number of disturbing things in the body cam videos she was reviewing from a particular arresting officer. Footage from the body cams didn't match up with the arresting officer's written affidavits. The reactions of the people being arrested seemed unusual. There were obvious irregularities in some of the searches that the officer conducted, making them illegal.

What are your odds of getting an acquittal in a federal case?

Every defendant in a federal criminal case would like to know what the odds are of an acquittal. Unfortunately, there are no sure bets when you're involved in a criminal case. However, there is information you can use to make decisions about your future.

Here are some of the facts:

Florida drug dealers now can face murder charges

With the opioid epidemic still raging in South Florida, now more and more drug dealers are facing tougher criminal charges, including murder charges. Eighteen months ago, Florida lawmakers passed legislation allowing fentanyl dealers to be charged with murder if the drugs they sold resulted in someone’s death.

What every Floridian should know about grand juries

The media have recently spent a lot of time covering white collar crimes. We’ve seen Medicare fraud and college admission scandals running amok in the news. And since these crimes are federal offenses, we’ve heard a lot about grand juries and federal indictments.

So what are grand juries, and what role do they play in criminal justice? These are questions that date back to the earliest days of the United States. Anyone facing an investigation or asked to testify will want to know the answers.

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